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National Wonders #2: Top 3

This is the second edition of a four-part series about National Wonders which is supposed to describe the scenarios in which those play a role. As usual when evaluating a building, unit etc. in civ it´s vital to not only look at effects and abilities, but as well at costs, required technologies and most importantly the overall context: In what situation in what kind of game will the building/unit/etc. help me achieve a certain goal? The more situations and different kinds of scenarios there are, the better is the examined object.

There are 14 National Wonders. The series will consists of the following four parts:

I. Click here for National Wonder #1: Flop 3
II. Top 3
III. Good. Basic. Not Game Breaking.
IV. Specific. Key for some scenarios.


Palace

Cost: 107 :4prod: (quick speed, 160 normal speed)
Effects: +1 , +8 :4wirt:, +2 :4kult:, +4 :4spion:
Requires at least 6 cities (depending on map size)

The Palace marks a city as the capital of your empire. It comes for free, though can be build in order to relocate the cap to another city. It is without a doubt the strongest building in the game. That is due to its ability to mark the target for Bureaucracy, due to its timing (it´s there from the start for free!) and simply it´s abilities:

The +2 :4kult: makes sure that the city reaches second cultural level for sure in a reasonable amount of time giving it more defense bonus and enabling a player to plan with that cultural expansion from the start (getting a strategical resource e.g.).

The +4 :4spion: is a relative zero spy points in relation to your opponents, who have the Palace as well, but overall it gives you an absolute gain on the amounts of spy points you need to reach in order to be able to use spy missions (or get information) against your opponent. Later on you can build on the already gathered points when trying to get more spy points.

The +1 can be very important letting your cap reach size 6 (with 1 unit doing police duty) instead of 5 before Hereditary Rule. In (especially ancient start) games where you want to have a bigger cap from the start due to different reasons (e.g. working a food resource and 5 cottages in an Ironman; working all the resources in your fatcross on an HB_map), this comes in very handy. In more warlike games you can slave your cap stronger from the start or it can be slaved overall as hard as other cities founded later because it can keep up with the unhappiness longer.

Most importantly there is the +8 :4wirt:. That additional commerce is what keeps your empire together in the beginning of the game. It makes up for the majority of your overall research at that point in the game. That stays true for quite some time during longer lasting and for the entire game in warlike games like 5v5 ancient.

Without the Palace for free in your first city, nothing would work. The game would look entirely different, most importantly due to the fact that tech costs in relation to the accumulated research would become extremely high. It wouldn´t be possible to pay the upkeep for more than a few units and in general the game would become very, very passive until a significant amount of cottages started kicking in.

University of Oxford

Cost: 268 (Double Production Speed w/ Stone)
Effects: +100% :4forsch: in this city; +1 :4gpp: for Great Scientist
Can turn 3 citizens into Scientist
Requires at least 6 Universities (depending on map size)

Technology is king and Oxford can make up for vast parts of yours. Oxford is mainly a tool in longer games (anc ffa, Ironman etc.), but there it´s a powerhouse. The combination of a well cottaged capital with Bureaucracy, an academy built by a Great Scientist, all kinds of science buildings and the University of Oxford results in up to +455% :4forsch: (with not more than 1 monastery). The smaller the space is you have to plant in a longer game the more important becomes your Oxford city since it does relatively more research compared to the rest of the empire the fewer cities you have. Once you reach a certain number of cities and with it used cottages Free Speech becomes more effective than Bureaucracy. Read more about that in “Civics in Focus II: Legal. Still that one city generates by far the most research in your empire – and Oxford is responsible for the by far biggest chunk, especially once you go down from Bureaucracy.

The boost from Oxford (together with it´s prerequisite, the Universities) marks a significant point in an Ironman or ffa game. Working towards that point and making sure the Universities and Oxford are finished as fast as possible is a very important aspect of such games. Look out for a possible stone you could still hook or plant in order to get double production speed for it.

In all kinds of OCC games, the importance of Oxford cannot be stressed enough and gaining only a few turns on your opponent when constructing it can result in a significant advantage in research. No matter whether it´s an ancient or renaissance start, Oxford is key here.

National Epic

Cost: 167:4prod: (on quick , 250 on normal) (Double Production Speed w/ Marble)
Effects: +1 :4gpp: for Great Artist; +4:4kult:; +100% :4gpp: birth rate in this city
Can only be built on Renaissance and earlier starts
Requires Literature and a Library

The National Epic is for Great People points, what Oxford is for research. In some aspect even more important since there are only three permanent and one temporary way of getting a bonus on accumulated GP points. You can be Philosophical, you can run Pacifism and you go start a Golden Age, all giving a 100% bonus on all GP points accumulated in your empire. While the Epic counts only for one city that drawback almost doesn´t matter since if you purposefully go for GPs will get almost all of those in one city only anyway. Pacifism results in huge upkeep costs for units making a standing army horribly expansive. Golden Ages are temporary – so most of the time with being Philosophical it´s +200% on :4gpp: points, only the +100% from the Epic when not having that trait.  In relation to Oxford the bonus from the National Epic is even higher. Since GPs are relatively less important compared to research, that levels out – if those two are comparable in the first place. In any case, the Epic is a key building whenever you want to work with massive GP pumping and that should be every single time when playing a longer game.

In OCC it´s  “do or die”, in Ironman there are times where you don´t build it, but that isn´t necessarily a good omen for your end result. It´s not a must build like Oxford in those kinds of games, but it comes close.

Click here for National Wonder #1: Flop 3

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  1. scooby
    February 10, 2010 at 21:56

    why is there no heroic epic?

    • February 11, 2010 at 00:34

      BEcause this is a Top 3 and Heroic Epic isn´t among the best 3 national wonders. It has its uses and I´ll come that to that in the next edition, but its not nearly as powerful as the three mentioned and even some other.

  2. Zulan
    February 11, 2010 at 09:41

    Isn’t Oxford speeded up by stone?

    • shizanu
      February 11, 2010 at 11:59

      kind of ^^

      • Penny
        February 11, 2010 at 13:07

        O waw, epic fail Jobe 😀

    • February 11, 2010 at 13:28

      Thanks 😉

      That´s what you get when copy/pasting from sites that aren´t fastmoves without checking properly what you´re copying *fistshaking*
      For my defense I even say somewhere in the article that you need stone 😉

  3. Anonymous
    February 20, 2010 at 21:07

    “The combination of a well cottaged capital with Bureaucracy, an academy built by a Great Scientist, all kinds of science buildings and the University of Oxford results in up to +310%”

    I always thought Bureaucracy 50% applies to commerce before it is multiplied by bonus buildings, so that would mean 1.5 * (25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 50 + 100 + 10) = 390%?

  4. Waki_Miko
    February 20, 2010 at 21:10

    I’m pretty sure Bureaucracy’s 50% bonus to commerce applies to base commerce before being modified by the other bonuses, so it’s not (10 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 50 + 50 + 100 = 310%) but (1.5 * (10 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 50 + 100) = 390%).

  5. February 24, 2010 at 14:06

    Actually the initial figure in the text was wrong, but so is the one given by you guys :P. The bonus for a cap in the endgame with no more than 1 monastery is up to 455%.

    The correct formula for the cap goes like this:

    c = Orginal Commerce
    x = science slider value in percent
    y = science bonusses by buildings in percent

    science output of cap = ( (c*1,5)*(x/100) ) * (1 + (y/100) )

    Let´s assume:
    – c, the original commerce is 100
    – the science slider x is at 100%
    – science bonus y varies between +225% = multiplier of 3,25 (oxford, academy, library, university, observatory) and +290% = multiplier of 3,9 (Added Laboratory, Free Religion, 3 Monasteries). The average endgame value will be +270% = multiplier of 3,7 (that´s one monastery).

    If you put the 1-monastery endgame situation into the formula you´ll receive:

    science output of cap = ((100*1,5)*(100/100)) * (1 + (270/100))
    = 555%

    Remember substracting 100% if you want to have the value, that gets added, because the result is the final value compared to the orgininal value (555% of the orginal value = 455% added to the original value)

  6. Waki_Miko
    February 24, 2010 at 23:37

    Good point. I did not factor in the Bureaucracy effect correctly earlier.
    Anyway, I thought that monasteries’ +10% bonus become obsolete after Scientific Method, so
    science output of cap = ((100*1,5)*(100/100)) * (1 + (260/100))
    = 540%
    That is, 440% bonus.
    Am I mistaken about this?

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